The Atlantic

Debate Moderators Don’t Know Much About National Security

Candidates are seldom pressed to discuss the biggest foreign-policy challenges a president will actually face.
Source: Mike Segar / Reuters

Viewers of the Democratic presidential debates learned quite a bit this week—from Joe Biden’s views of school busing to Marianne Williamson’s plan to defeat President Donald Trump with love. But I’d bet the next president will be consumed by an issue not a single person mentioned: cyber threats.

Sure, the moderators asked a few candidates what they thought the biggest foreign-policy threat was. There was a question about Iran, lots of talk about climate change, and some China bashing. But in four hours, with enough presidential candidates to play two basketball games and so many moderators they had to take turns sitting in chairs, the foreign-policy parts of the debate seemed truncated at best.

Worse still was the mismatch between the challenges the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Most Powerful Member of the Ruling Class
Using “the ruling class” and “overlords” as shorthand for Trump’s critics is Orwellian nonsense.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Planned Parenthood Makes a Huge Bet
The women’s-health organization will stop taking money from Title X, a government family-planning program, in light of a new rule that bars doctors from making referrals for abortion procedures.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The Dark Side of the Investigation Meant to Clean Up Brazil
News reports have pointed to serious wrongdoing at the heart of Operation Car Wash, the corruption inquiry that has shaken many Latin American countries.